Rodents in Charlotte are tricky and clever pests. If you hope to keep them out of your home, you need to know a few important facts about the different rodents we have in our area and how they think. Today, we're going to focus on rats and mice as they are the worst rodents we deal with in our area. We'll tell you what makes them rodents, how their common behavior patterns turn them into pests, and why it is bad to have rodents in your home. We'll also share four simple, yet effective, rodent exclusion tips you can use to keep rats and mice out. If you don't like dealing with rodents on your own, remember that ProForce Pest Control is available to help you with rodent pest control in Charlotte. Call us and schedule a service visit or learn about the unique way we address rodents by checking out the last section of this article, regarding stress-free and effective rodent control.
What Are Rodents?
It is estimated that there are about 1,500 rodent species living in the world today. That is an impressive figure when you consider the fact that there are only about 4,000 mammals altogether. More than a fourth of all mammals are rodents! But what makes a rodent a rodent? There are a few key traits.
Rodents are covered in hair. That means you can rule out any animals that have scales or feathers.
Rodents give birth to live offspring. That means you're not going to find rodent eggs on your property.
Rodents have long incisors. Like the beaver, all rodents use these teeth to gnaw on wood and other materials such as plastic—which is why you may find yourself searching your home frantically to find your hamster after it has chewed through that plastic ball you got for it.
In the group of animals we call rodents, there is quite a bit of variety. For example, beavers aren't going to get into your home and raid your cabinets. They just don't do this. So, why do rats and mice get into your home, explore every floor, and raid your cabinets? They have unique traits.
Rats and mice are attracted to tight spaces and will use their teeth to make a tiny gap large enough to squeeze into. If you have a sliver of a gap in your foundation, a rodent may gnaw away at it until there is a hole large enough for entry.
Rats and mice can warp and squeeze their bodies and take advantage of their flexible skeletal structure to get through small gaps. A full-grown, adult rat can work its way through a gap that is only the width of a quarter. A mouse only needs a gap the width of a dime.
Rats and mice are climbers. They can scale trees like a squirrel. But tree bark isn't the only surface a rat or mouse can scale. They can climb up pipes, work their way up gutter downspouts, and scale rough exterior surfaces. Once inside, they can climb and scrape their way from your attic to your kitchen and use their teeth to gnaw through a wall and enter food storage areas.
Rats and mice are prone to living in habitats that have confined spaces and clutter. The reason is that they have poor eyesight and must use their senses of touch, hearing, and smell to navigate. In a wall void, a rodent can sense all of the surfaces around it and is quite at home.
It is trickier to keep mice out of your home or prevent them from accessing areas you don't want them to access because they're small rodents. As small rodents, they survive on much less food. Rats are big rodents in Charlotte that do not tolerate living in places that have limited food options. As rats and mice explore your home in search of something to eat, they present a risk to your health. Let's take a quick look at why this is the case.
Rats, Mice And Other Rodents Can Be Very Dangerous
Any animal that gets into your home is going to present a danger. The primary issue is that animals are not domesticated. They use the bathroom wherever they please! If a rat, mouse, or squirrel enters your home, you can expect it to contaminate indoor spaces with its droppings and urine. But there are more threats to consider.
The worst outcome of a rodent infestation is a house fire. How does a tiny mouse cause a house fire? It does so by nibbling on wiring. If a powerline is severed, the resulting spark can ignite a fire in your walls.
When rodents enter your home, they aren't likely to come alone. They bring ticks and fleas with them. Ticks are particularly bad as they take small animals as hosts and fall off as they grow. If ticks fall off in your home, they will immediately start looking for a large host, like a dog or a cat. Certain ticks can readily bite humans if no dogs or cats are found.
Rodents climb in unsanitary places and can accidentally pick up harmful organisms that cause humans to get sick. Some organisms are potentially dangerous, like Salmonella and E. coli.
Rodents chew holes that can allow moisture into your home. A moisture problem can give rise to a mold problem and present yet another health concern.
It is best to keep rats and mice outside where they belong. Let's take what we've discussed up to this point and apply what you've learned to the job of rodent exclusion.
Four Simple Yet Effective Rodent Exclusion Tips
Rodents are resourceful and talented animals. They squeeze through tight spaces. They use their teeth to make small openings larger. They scale exteriors and move about in homes by climbing up and down within wall voids. They want to find food in your home, and they prefer cluttered spaces. You can use all of these facts to control them.
- Address food around and inside your home. Before rats and mice get into your home, they are likely to find food in your yard. They eat nuts that fall from trees or nuts you feed to the squirrels. They eat birdseed under feeders, and also within the feeders. They get into uncovered garbage receptacles. They eat condiments left out near grills. Once inside, they'll chew through cardboard, paper, and thin plastic to eat your stored foods. Protect your food in sealed containers. They'll eat food on the floor, so keep things clean. They'll also eat pet food and any other food sources that are available.
- Address tiny gaps or holes. Rodents can't help but chew on a small hole and make it larger. You can prevent this by patching holes and gaps with expanding foam or caulk. Make sure to also seal interior gaps, such as gaps around pipes that come in under your sinks.
- Address the routes rats and mice use. These animals scale trees and use branches to get onto your roof; cutting branches can remove these routes. They run across powerlines to get to your home. Installing a rodent guard can block their way. They work their way up rough exterior walls and sometimes get into gable vents and other openings. Block these with hardware cloth.
- Address clutter in your yard and within storage areas. Rats and mice don't like open spaces. A clutter-free yard will feel scary for a rat or mouse to cross. A tidy attic space will not feel cozy.
When you alter conditions that inspire rats and mice to live in your home, you may have no more trouble with them. These tips are surprisingly effective. But it is sometimes difficult to find the holes rodents are using or to correct other conducive conditions. When this is the case, rodent control is needed. It is best to hire a licensed pest control technician to apply rodent control. Rodent control is an unpleasant job that can cause you a lot of stress.
The Trick To Stress-Free And Effective Rodent Control
Contact ProForce Pest Control for effective rodent control in Charlotte or rodent management around the exterior of your home. We stand out from our competition because we offer unique services on top of our rodent control. Here are a few ways we address rodent problems.
- We perform a professional inspection to evaluate your rodent issues and guide you toward a targeted and comprehensive solution.
- We strategically apply snap traps or live traps to remove the rodents from interior spaces and monitor rodent activity.
- We apply minor exterior work in areas rodents commonly enter and point out other trouble spots.
- We offer sanitation and insulation replacement to restore your attic. Doing this helps with air quality, reduces health risks, and removes smells that can attract rodents.
- We perform crawl space encapsulations which can keep rodents out of this zone.
When you want all of the options you need, ProForce Pest Control delivers. Connect with us today to schedule service for your Charlotte home. We can help!